Celebrating the National Book Critics Circle’s First Book Award
A literary partner featured event focused on the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard award winners, featuring Leonard award winners Raven Leilani, Carmen Maria Machado, Kirstin Valdez Quade. They’ll focus on launching a literary career, inspiration and research for their work, the influence of Leonard and other awards, evolving forms, the unique challenges of writing in these times, the imaginative process that shapes their work.
Raven Leilani’s first novel, Luster, won the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard Prize, the Kirkus Prize, the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. Leilani received her MFA from NYU and was an Axinn Foundation Writer-in-Residence.
Carmen Maria Machado’s story collection Her Body and Other Parties won the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and was a National Book Award finalist.
Kirstin Valdez Quade‘s story collection, Night at the Fiestas, won the National Book Critics Circle John Leonard award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, a “5 Under 35” award from the National Book Foundation, and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. She is an assistant professor at Princeton.
Moderator: David Varno is National Book Critics Circle President and Fiction Editor at Publishers Weekly.